How Many People Will the World Leave Behind? Assessing current trajectories on the Sustainable Development Goals

Do the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) matter for real people? In 2015, at the United Nations, all countries agreed on the set of ambitious economic, social, and environmental targets to be achieved by no later than 2030, guided by a central motivation to “leave no one behind.” But is the world on track to do so? What are the consequences if it falls short? How many lives are at stake? This paper considers these questions by estimating the extent to which, if recent trends persist, issues and countries will still see people left behind.

Overall, the findings in Brookings' recent report show that most countries are making progress on most issues, but the SDGs still require much faster progress in order to leave no one behind.


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